Emotionally Abusive Friendship?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by junebug, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. junebug

    junebug New Member

    I've been friends with this girl for a long time, and she's always been harsh. When we were little she'd physically hit me or roughly grab my arm. As we grew older these stopped but the verbal abuse is still present. I don't have many friends and due to my social anxiety I feel like a bit of an outcast in society. I'm afraid if I confront her I'll lose her forever, but I can't keep living like this. She tells me I'm mean and awkward. She's always making fun of me. She tells me to kill myself. I don't think she's serious about that last part... but it still hurts. She always has to get her way and doesn't care how I feel or listen when I try to open up to her. She asks me for favors that she would never do for me in return.
    But in an odd way she's been kind of good for me. She has gotten me to try new things, she gets me out on the weekends, but she is also very hurtful.
    She has a lot going on in her life. Her parents are splitting up, they're having some money troubles, her dad has heart disease.... I don't want to hurt her, or make her feel like she has no one. But that's what she does to me... I have no one but her. I'm afraid what will happen to me if I push her away...

    Has anyone else gone through this? What did you do about it? What do you suggest that I do? And why?
  2. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    If someone is telling you to harm yourself, I do not see the purpose she has in your life, no matter what she is experiencing...set limits with her and if that does not work out, see her less
  3. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Those negatives y ou talk about are more then just negatives hun they are abuse as you have stated. NO one has the right to abuse you hun You can make new friends you just are afraid to YOu set boundaries ok you tell her no more verbal abuse not more ridicule and each time she does this you walk away You can join other activities hun meet new people
    Show t his girl t he right way to communicate ok Everyone has their problems hun it does not give us the right to harm others hugs
  4. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN

    The fact that you recognise this relationship as emotionally abusive is good - it is the first step to getting rid of it. It is natural to care about someone who has been in your life such a long time, and of course it is understandable that you would be afraid of being friendless if you eject her from your life, but consider that her harmful actions are part of the reason for your social awkwardness. You say you have been friends a long time - you have essentially developed inside of an abusive relationship; it makes sense that you feel anxious and awkward around people if this is your understanding of how people (even people you consider friends) behave.

    You ask what I suggest you do: My suggestion is that you tell her calmly and firmly that you are tired of her abusive nature and that you intend to find new friends. And do exactly that. I know it is easier said than done, and I don't imagine you are going to develop a new social circle overnight, but cutting her out of your life, cutting yourself free from her negativity, is the first step and the very best thing you can do for yourself right now.

    Take care and keep talking :hug: you do not have to feel isolated or alone here. My PM is always open if you want to chat.
  5. Cariad_Bach

    Cariad_Bach Staff Alumni

    If I may assume that you don't want to cut her out of your life, then there are a 3 kind of 'stages' I go through when I need to communicate something to a friend who isn't listening.

    1. Talk to them.
    2. Ignore them until they ask what's going on and then talk to them.
    3. Treat them like they treat you until they complain and then talk to them.

    If, after trying all three there is still no acknowledgement or change, then unfortunately there is a choice: put up with it or put yourself first.

    If she's a friend, when she realises then she'll be mortified. If she's not, then you don't need to fret about her feelings at all.
  6. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    If a friend is encouraging you to hurt yourself, you must ask yourself, what is the purpose of this friendship? This is the most harmful thing you can do to someone on this site(encourage suicide), the same goes for in real life (in my books anyway). Please find some new meaningful friendships, people like this, when you are emotionally unstable-you certainly do not need in your life.
  7. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Thats not a friend you have described, its a bully. Sorry but i really would prefer to have no friends than a single friend that tells me things like that
  8. snarrylover

    snarrylover Well-Known Member

    She's either not a very good friend and is a user, or has issues of her own to deal with and is unsure in social situations. Maybe she's acting like that because she's scared of showing "good" friendly emotion. Maybe she's done it for so long that it's become a comfortable thing for her, a defensive thing. I'm not trying to make excuses for her, but I've been on both sides of something like that in the past. I've been horrible and critical of my friends, and I've had a couple who have done it to me. It's no way to be friends with someone.

    I think you should tell her one day to stop making fun of you because it upsets you. Her reaction to that, as well as her actions, will let you know how much of a friend she is. Of course, you risk losing her that way so it's up to you. If there's no way to come to a balance then you have to weigh the pros and cons.
  9. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Writer, Musician, Fun Lover, Magic Maker

    Drop her like a hot potato! People like this are emotional vampires and suck the energy right out of you. If she was really your friend, she would not make you feel badly, and especially not encourage you to harm yourself. I've had friends like this, sure they were good sometimes, but mostly they made me feel like crap. You need people in your life who will pick you up and make you feel better, not worse.
  10. Sophia_Wilde

    Sophia_Wilde Active Member

    She does seem so very controlling? Is she using you as a barrier between her self-conscience self and the world? As an averting presence, to help hide her many festering inadequacies, and also, as a device to physically uplift her through your constant close proximity?

    Does she also see you as a human stress device, a very reliable, uncomplaining verbal/physical punch bag for her frustrations?

    Does she enjoy the power she has over you? It does seem as though she can,.....at will. She can make you feel either waggy tailed and happy or moaningly miserable.

    Using treats and criticism, she does seem to be able to control you, maybe, you have become self-disciplining, as a result of your fretful emotions being manipulated. Which means you are now obediently imprisoned in your own anxieties.(just how can you live without her, indeed?)

    Which makes it quite an emotional coup d'etat, as really, you’ve conquered yourself!

    P.S Have you posed this question before in a different forum? (It does seem familiar: )
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